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Tillamook, OR, United States

Whitehouse-Tedd K.M.,Outreach | Whitehouse-Tedd K.M.,Nottingham Trent University | Whitehouse-Tedd K.M.,Breeding Center for Endangered Arabian Wildlife | Lefebvre S.L.,Banfield Applied Research and Knowledge Team | Janssens G.P.J.,Ghent University
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Gastrointestinal diseases pose significant risks to captive cheetah survival and welfare. Multiple factors are thought to be associated with these diseases, but to date a comprehensive epidemiological survey of disease risk factors has not been conducted. A survey of diet and health parameters was completed for 184 captive cheetahs in 86 international facilities. Comparisons were made among dietary factors with respect to disease status and observed faecal consistency, incidence of vomiting and diarrhoea in the past 4 weeks. Extremely dry faeces were most common in cheetahs fed carcasses, but was still of low incidence (15%). Contrastingly, cheetahs fed commercially prepared diets had the highest prevalence of liquid faeces "always" or "often" (9%). Cheetahs fed raw meat diets had the highest prevalence of soft faeces with no shape (22%), as well as of firm and dry faeces (40%). No broad category of diet exerted any influence on the health parameters investigated. However, feeding of ribs at least once per week reduced the odds of diarrhoea (P = 0.020) and feeding of long bones (limbs) at least once per week was associated with a lower odds of vomiting (P = 0.008). Cheetahs fed muscle meat at least once per week had reduced odds of suffering from chronic gastritis (P = 0.005) or non-specific gastrointestinal disease (P < 0.001). The only factor identified as increasing the odds of chronic gastritis was feeding of horse "often" or "always" (P = 0.023). The findings of the current study build on existing empirical research to support a recommendation towards a greater inclusion of skeletal components. Current husbandry guidelines advocating the use of supplemented raw meat diets are likewise supported, but the use of horse meat, as well as commercially prepared diets for captive cheetahs, warrants caution until further research is conducted. Copyright: © 2015 Whitehouse-Tedd et al.

Kass P.H.,University of California at Davis | Weng H.-Y.,University of California at Davis | Weng H.-Y.,Purdue University | Gaona M.A.L.,University of California at Davis | And 4 more authors.
PeerJ | Year: 2016

In an effort to recognize and address communicable and point-source epidemics in dog and cat populations, this project created a near real-time syndromic surveillance system devoted to companion animal health in the United States. With over 150 million owned pets in the US, the development of such a system is timely in light of previous epidemics due to various causes that were only recognized in retrospect. The goal of this study was to develop epidemiologic and statistical methods for veterinary hospital-based surveillance, and to demonstrate its efficacy by detection of simulated foodborne outbreaks using a database of over 700 hospitals. Data transfer protocols were established via a secure file transfer protocol site, and a data repository was constructed predominantly utilizing open-source software. The daily proportion of patients with a given clinical or laboratory finding was contrasted with an equivalent average proportion from a historical comparison period, allowing construction of the proportionate diagnostic outcome ratio and its confidence interval for recognizing aberrant heath events. A five-tiered alert system was used to facilitate daily assessment of almost 2,000 statistical analyses. Two simulated outbreak scenarios were created by independent experts, blinded to study investigators, and embedded in the 2010 medical records. Both outbreaks were detected almost immediately by the alert system, accurately detecting species affected using relevant clinical and laboratory findings, and ages involved. Besides demonstrating proof-in-concept of using veterinary hospital databases to detect aberrant events in space and time, this research can be extended to conducting post-detection etiologic investigations utilizing exposure information in the medical record. © 2016 Kass et al.

Greene J.P.,University of Minnesota | Lefebvre S.L.,Banfield Applied Research and Knowledge Team | Wang M.,Banfield Applied Research and Knowledge Team | Yang M.,Banfield Applied Research and Knowledge Team | And 2 more authors.
Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association | Year: 2014

Objective-To identify risk factors associated with diagnosis of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in cats. Design-Retrospective case-control study. Animals-1,230 cats with a clinical diagnosis of CKD, serum creatinine concentration > 1.6 mg/dL, and urine specific gravity < 1.035 and 1,230 age-matched control cats. Procedures-Data on putative risk factors for CKD were extracted for multivariate logistic regression analysis from the medical records of cats brought to 755 primary care veterinary hospitals. For a subset of cats evaluated 6 to 12 months prior to the date of CKD diagnosis or control group inclusion, the percentage change in body weight between those dates as well as clinical signs at the earlier date were analyzed for associations with CKD development. Results-Risk factors for CKD in cats included thin body condition, prior periodontal disease or cystitis, anesthesia or documented dehydration in the preceding year, being a neutered male (vs spayed female), and living anywhere in the United States other than the northeast. The probability of CKD decreased with increasing body weight in nondehydrated cats, domestic shorthair breed, and prior diagnosis of diabetes mellitus and increased when vomiting, polyuria or polydipsia, appetite or energy loss, or halitosis was present at the time of diagnosis or control group inclusion but not when those signs were reported 6 to 12 months earlier. Median weight loss during the preceding 6 to 12 months was 10.8% and 2.1% in cats with and without CKD, respectively. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance-The probability of CKD diagnosis in cats was influenced by several variables; recent weight loss, particularly in combination with the other factors, warrants assessment of cats for CKD.

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